In every office, there are undertones of office politics. These help determine who makes the tea, who empties the bins, even where we sit and when we take our lunch breaks. Guy Browning, in his book ‘Office Politics: How work really works’ offers some…interesting if not rather controversial top tips that can help us all to survive the office. Would you follow his advice?
Here I share a few of my favourites but you can view all 20 Top Tips by visiting the link below:
Never offer to make the Coffee (Or Tea)
‘In an open plan office, there is a ritual where everyone waits hours for the first person to say ‘Who wants a coffee?’. That person then finds themselves in the kitchen working as a junior catering manager.’
Now…I have to admit that Harry and I do tend to make the majority of the tea and coffee throughout the day. Personally, I enjoy taking ten minutes to pop to the kitchen and have a chat with whoever happens to be in there too. Just call me ‘Junior Catering Manager Hibbs’.
Ignore all Emails
‘Working in a post room is not generally a career choice for most people, yet with the epidemic of email, most people spend half their working lives slaving away in their own personal computer post room. Most emails are biodegradable, however if you let them sink to the bottom of the pile and go unanswered they will eventually become irrelevant. If something really matters, the person who sent it will eventually call you to ask about it.’
Probably true, if something was pressing you’ll be shouted at or called. Not very professional though is it really, so I think I’ll stick to being responsive thanks Guy.
Remember Less is More
‘You would think that lazy people would form an inert mass at the bottom of an organisation. On the contrary they are found at all levels in business. The reason for this is simple, when something goes wrong in business it’s generally because someone somewhere has tried to do something. Obviously, if you don’t do anything you can’t be blamed when it goes wrong.’
Perhaps, if you haven’t done something you can’t be blamed for it….but what if you didn’t do something and that was what caused something else to go wrong? Now we have a problem.
In all, I’m not sure that I will be taking any of Guy’s advice here simply because life at work would be pretty dull if I didn’t make the tea, answer emails and do ‘something’! Making the drinks and washing the dishes in the shared kitchen puts me into contact with people from a range of businesses in the building we share, all with their own stories and general chit chat, and that’s what the office workplace is all about!